A good education has two elements: teaching and learning. Basic facilities must be available to help students learn; students have to try their best; at the same time, teachers must be able to keep up with the changing world in order to teach effectively. In view of the above, the China Candlelight Educational Fund (CCEF) has, since 2001, provided funds to organize 10-day refresher courses for teachers in the mountainous areas, aiming at widening their horizon and informing them about the latest techniques in teaching methodology. This course has been approved by local educational bureaus as part of their retraining programme for teachers.
There are three main objectives:
i) to deepen the teachers’ understanding of a particular subject;
ii) to improve their technique of teaching; and
iii) to raise the standard of teaching and learning.
Training of English Teachers
As China has become a free member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and is going to host the 2008 Olympic Games, signifying China’s entry into the family of nations, teaching English as a second language for its citizens has become an urgent matter.
Since 2003, CCEF has provided special courses for rural teachers helping them learn how to teach English as a second language properly. On top of lectures provided by tertiary institutions, CCEF has also provided experienced volunteer English language teachers, both local and foreign, from Hong Kong to conduct a 2 to 3 day session, sharing their experience and knowledge about the latest method of teaching, so as to keep the Chinese rural teachers up-to-date with English language teaching.
Training of Physical Education and Art Teachers
Since 2006, CCEF together with the Education Bureau of Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province, has organized refresher courses for teachers specializing in music, art and physical education. The programme is a resounding success and the teachers have benefited greatly.
Every year CCEF invites the respective educational authorities to recommend teachers for retraining. Priority is given to teachers from schools sponsored by CCEF, followed by teachers in other schools in the mountainous areas. Each school would send two to three teachers for training each year. The CCEF would cover all expenses, including tuition fees, lodging and visits.